The Transition Forward Project

Transgender people, those whose internal gender identity differs from the sex that was assigned to them at birth, make up about 1.4 million adults in the United States. They are our friends, neighbors, loved ones and co-workers.

The best way to be supportive isn’t always clear. Even recently, my partner and I were discussing our 9 year old’s sex education class and which included separating the boys and girls. A simple thing when considering my own experience as a kid but not a simple thing when you consider some kids might not know which room to go to.

Situations like this deserve more care at school and at work. The school conversation is one for a different day but it’s another good example that society isn’t quite yet getting this right. There is room for improvement, almost everywhere.

When someone goes through a transition there actually aren’t a lot of resources to utilize to support them. Commonly, everyone knows to do the right thing but it’s not always clear initially what that is.

At Dwolla we found ourselves creating a transition handbook as a way to codify everything that was brought together last year when a team member transitioned. This was surprising because just about everything else had an existing resource that was easy to pull off the shelf…

  • Need a 401k plan? There’s a trainer for that.
  • How about cap table guidance? Sure. No problem.
  • Need a sliding comp scale for your new sales team? Yup, that’s there too.
  • Need software to pull together a product roadmap view. There’s a SAAS solution for that.

The team came to find was that there wasn’t much of a plan amongst industry groups to support team members going through a gender transition so our team started putting one together.

To our teams credit, they also wanted to include the community in the activity to make sure we brought in a more diverse set of views.

As a start, Dwolla’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee is developing company guidance to better support the gender expression of all our employees—specifically including those that are transgender, non-binary, gender non-conforming and those that decide to transition in the workplace.

A big 👏for the team who put this together. They have done an impressive job with this and I’m humbled to be affiliated with these people.

If you’d like to contribute, please do so.